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Garden Design Plans are Beautiful with Perennials | Bethesda, MD

Aug 22, 2014 | Gardens

A flower garden design can be outstanding with the use of perennials, plants that grow and bloom each season, die back, and return the following year from root stock (bulbs, rhizomes, tubers and woody crowns) rather than from seeding themselves the way annual plants do. One way to remember “perennial” is that it also begins with the letter “p” as does “permanent”.

Some perennials live longer than others, depending on the climate and environment, and they vary in size from a few millimeters to more than 100 yards tall. A big advantage is that they typically grow bigger and stronger each year rather than having to be replanted. Perennials usually form the foundation for most flower gardens because they tolerate poor soil and drought, if necessary. However, most perennials only bloom for a few weeks each year.

Roses thrive in rich moist soil and full sun. Disease resistant varieties are “Crimson Bouquet” and “Honey Perfume”. Some roses, like some heirloom varieties, bloom throughout the summer. Wild roses usually bloom only once in late spring, but they could continue to bloom through late June but if they are located in an appropriate microclimate. Nearly all roses need a minimum of six hours of sunlight a day.

Gladiolus grows from 18 inches to 5 feet high, and the flowers open from the bottom toward the top of the stem. All colors except blue are available, and some blossoms may contain more than one color.

Daylilies bloom continuously through the summer. Each flower only lasts for one day; however, one plant can produce a myriad of blossoms.

Baby’s breath sprays are often used as filler in floral arrangements and bouquets. This plant features many long-lasting, double white flowers (1/4″ wide) in open, airy panicles in summer.

The Shasta daisy, a 1991 All-America award winner, is a compact dwarf plant which grows 12″ tall and has 2.5″ diameter flower heads with white rays and yellow center disks. It blooms most of the summer and is an excellent and long-lasting fresh cut flower.

The Black-eyed Susan has daisy-like huge flower heads (6-9” diameter) with bright and bold yellow to orange-yellow rays and dark chocolate-brown center disks.

Goldenrod is compact and spreading with tiny bright yellow flowers in dense plumes 15-18″ tall in late summer to fall. Heart-shaped foliage forms an attractive dark green ground cover. It is attractive to butterflies and bees and is a good cut flower.

Ladybells grow 1 1/2 to 2 feet tall with erect stems topped with bell-shaped fragrant blue flowers.

The ox eye daisy grows 2 to 3 feet tall and has single or double daisy-like flowers which are 2 to 3 inches in diameter with yellow rays and deep yellow-orange centers. It grows from summer to early fall and is a good fresh cut flower.

Garden phlox typically grows upright 3 to 4 feet tall. The pink-violet flowers are fragrant. Blooms last from mid to late summer and sometimes extends into early fall. This is another good fresh cut flower, is attractive to hummingbirds, and is an excellent selection for a bird garden.

For more interesting information regarding landscaping design, please visit our website or contact us.

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About the Author

Matt Johnson grew up in a family of landscapers and gardeners as the grandson of Raymond Johnson (Founder, 1933, Johnson's Florist and Garden Center) and son of James and Carol Johnson (Founders, 1960, Johnson's Landscaping Service, Inc.). Since 2007, he has led Johnson's Landscaping Service with his brother, Charlie.  Matt and his wife Jaime live in Petworth in Northwest DC with their 3 sons and 2 big dogs.

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